Famine Mortality, Rational Political Inactivity, and International Food Aid
Summary Famine mortality is preventable by government action and yet some famines kill. We develop a political theory of famine mortality based on the selectorate theory of Bueno de Mesquita et al. [Bueno de Mesquita, B. B., Morrow, J. M., Siverson, R. M., & Smith, A. (2002). Political institutions, policy choice and the survival of leaders. British Journal of Political Science, 32(4), 559-590, Bueno de Mesquita, B. B., Smith, A., Siverson, R. M., & Morrow J. M. (2003). The logic of political survival. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press]. We argue that it can be politically rational for a government, democratic or not, to remain inactive in the face of severe famine threat. We derive the testable hypotheses that famine mortality is possible in democracies, but likely to be lower than in autocracies. Moreover, a larger share of people being affected by famine relative to population size together with large quantities of international food aid being available will lower the mortality in both regime types, but more so in democracies.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ullah, Aman, 2004. "Finite Sample Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774488.
- Sen, Amartya, 2001. "Development as Freedom," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192893307.
- Barrett, Christopher B., 2002. "Food security and food assistance programs," Handbook of Agricultural Economics,in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 40, pages 2103-2190 Elsevier.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002.
"The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 2721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Besley, Timothy & Burgess, Robin, 2000. "The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Wei Li & Dennis Tao Yang, 2005. "The Great Leap Forward: Anatomy of a Central Planning Disaster," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 840-877, August.
- Lavy, Victor, 1992. "Alleviating Transitory Food Crises in Sub-Saharan Africa: International Altruism and Trade," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(1), pages 125-138, January.
- Eric Neumayer, 2005.
"Is the Allocation of Food Aid Free from Donor Interest Bias?,"
Journal of Development Studies,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 394-411.
- Neumayer, Eric, 2005. "Is the allocation of food aid free from donor interest bias?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 16689, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Martin Ravallion, 1997.
"Famines and Economics,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1205-1242, September.
- Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Famines and economics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1693, The World Bank.
- Plumper, Thomas & Martin, Christian W, 2003. "Democracy, Government Spending, and Economic Growth: A Political-Economic Explanation of the Barro-Effect," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(1-2), pages 27-50, October.
- Kjell Hausken & Christian W. Martin & Thomas Plümper, 2004. "Government Spending and Taxation in Democracies and Autocracies," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 239-259, September.
- repec:cup:apsrev:v:100:y:2006:i:03:p:429-447_06 is not listed on IDEAS
- Stephen Devereux, 2001. "Sen's Entitlement Approach: Critiques and Counter-critiques," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(3), pages 245-263.
- Noland, Marcus & Robinson, Sherman & Wang, Tao, 2001. "Famine in North Korea: Causes and Cures," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(4), pages 741-767, July.
- Marcus Noland & Sherman Robinson & Tao Wang, 1999. "Famine in North Korea: Causes and Cures," Working Paper Series WP99-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Daniel Goodkind & Loraine West, 2001. "The North Korean Famine and Its Demographic Impact," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(2), pages 219-238.
- Bueno De Mesquita, Bruce & Morrow, James D. & Siverson, Randolph M. & Smith, Alastair, 2002. "Political Institutions, Policy Choice and the Survival of Leaders," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(04), pages 559-590, October.
- Eric Neumayer, 2003. "Do Human Rights Matter in Bilateral Aid Allocation? A Quantitative Analysis of 21 Donor Countries," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(3), pages 650-666.
- Bowbrick, Peter, 1986. "The causes of famine : A refutation of Professor Sen's theory," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 105-124, May.
- Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "Starvation and Exchange Entitlements: A General Approach and Its Application to the Great Bengal Famine," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 33-59, March.
- Goldsmith, Arthur A., 2001. "Foreign Aid and Statehood in Africa," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(01), pages 123-148, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)